New. York. City. I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn’t pinch myself today, trying to make sure this was all indeed real. As I ventured out into the rainy Concrete Jungle on the first day of my internship, I couldn’t help but feel like a seasoned New Yorker. Starbucks and umbrella in hand, I boarded the 6 train for my short commute from the EHS dorms to the National Football League, located at 345 Park Avenue.
Getting off the elevator at the 6th floor, I had to hold back my football fandom as I stepped into possibly one of the coolest rooms I have ever seen. With every Super Bowl ring on display in addition to the George Halas (NFC Championship), Lamar Hunt (AFC Championship), and Vince Lombardi trophies sitting in a beautiful glass case, all 22 NFL interns were greeted at a chrome, football-shaped reception desk before beginning orientation.
If I thought that was neat, I was in for a treat later when we took a tour of the rest of the NFL offices. Each of the four floors that the NFL occupies features a different theme: the game, the fans, the teams, and innovation. The National Football League certainly put a lot of time and thought into this space when they moved a little less than two years ago. This isn’t just an office; it’s a display of the NFL’s proud tradition.
As for my role over the next two months, I will be working in the Consumer Products Department, which is the architect of the NFL’s brand as it relates to retail and on-field products, team practice gear, and promotional items. We work closely with NFL licensing partners and retailers to identify key product trends, new business opportunities, and to maximize revenue (something the NFL is pretty decent at). Our goal is to make products that allow our fans, no matter where they are in the world, to show their loyalty to their favorite NFL club.
Around 6:00pm EST, I left the NFL to head to Chelsea Piers, site of MSBA’s opening reception. Greetings were given by MSBA’s co-founders Ben Sturner and David Oestreicher, and MSBA partner and Blue Equity Chairman Jonathan Blue introduced our featured speaker for the evening, ESPN’s Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell.
Another highlight of the evening was the chance to meet our mentors, who we were matched with based on the career goals that we came up with prior to arriving in New York. My mentor, Jared Schoenfeld, is Director of Corporate Hospitality Sales at the Madison Square Garden Company, which will hosted later in the week for our first “Friday Field Trip.”
To say this has been an exciting day would be an understatement. I cannot wait to see what these next eight weeks bring at both MSBA and the NFL. I am excited to take this time to learn more about myself as a person and a professional as I experience all that New York has to offer.